Entrepreneur and eDrop-Off Founder Corri McFadden was ambitious at an early age as she skipped her college graduation to attend eBAY LIVE! This inspired her to make her senior project come to life. She then created eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment. From filming VH1’s House of Consignment, to hosting weekly fashion segments on Chicago’s Morning show, “You and Me This Morning,” while contributing to online magazines such as Glossed and Found and Refinery29, Corri Mcfadden has made her mark on Chicago Fashion! This week I interviewed Corri McFadden on how she got her start in the industry and the real world of an entrepreneur.
From senior project to Founder of eDrop-Off Luxury consignment what inspired you to chase your dreams?
I started eDrop-Off just over 10 years ago- it’s crazy how much this company has grown! I went to school for Fashion Design and developed the business plan for eDrop-off as my graduation portfolio project. I knew there was a void in the consignment market and that I could pioneer an innovative way to fill it. Not everyone felt that way… My program director thought it was a terrible idea, but I knew I had something and refused to be deterred.
Instead of taking my director’s advice, I skipped my graduation to go to eBay LIVE! in hopes of finding software to help launch my business. Three months after I graduated, I opened the doors to eDrop-Off’s first retail space. Ten years later, here we are as one of the largest luxury consignment companies in the country with over 400,000 luxury items sold to date! The office is always bustling with new merchandise and a staff of 40+ including our stylists, copywriters, and photographers.
We also recently just renovated our store! We received some amazing new product in and revamped the space to house the new pieces. Now eDrop-Off shoppers have an entirely new experience including a chic handbag lucite wall and lux hanging racks.
What is a typical day in the life of Corri McFadden?
My day always starts with Zelda (who is growing up way too fast!) I’m usually up around 5:30 AM and getting breakfast ready for baby Z and I. With such a busy schedule, my time with her is so precious! Once a week, I host a fashion segment on WCIU’s “You & Me” and love bringing Zelda with me when I can.
After wrapping, Zelda heads home with the nanny and I’m off to eDrop-Off HQ. Each day at the office always brings something new! We sell over 2,000 products a week, so we’re constantly launching new product. We also just introduced The Collection, our new retail expansion with fixed prices and 100% new merchandise every 2-3 weeks. It’s an amazing opportunity for our clients and continues to keep us on our toes! I’m also constantly creating content for my style site CorriMcFadden.com and newly launched Glitter and Bubbles, a Mom savvy site with everything from super chic DIY’s to yummy snacks your little with love.
I love ending the day with a family dinner and cuddling up on the couch with my fiancé, Spiro, and Zelda.
From being a contributor to online outlets, hosting a weekly fashion segment on WCIU, and spending time with your beautiful daughter Zelda how do you stay organized?
I’m not going to lie—it gets really difficult sometimes trying to balance everything! I’m extremely lucky to have an amazing team behind me to keep me going and help out. Keeping a strong team of like-minded people around me who have the same goals keeps me on track and pushing forward. It’s also amazingly rewarding watching my brand grow; that continuously causes me to push boundaries.
With a degree in fashion design, did you picture yourself going into the business side of the fashion industry? Which do you like more?
I actually pictured myself going into Crime Scene Investigation—I was so interested in the idea of being able to figure out a crime and unveil criminals, #StopTheViolenceChicago! I have always loved fashion, but I never gave a second thought to making a career out of it. The entrepreneurial side of me totally won! After I saw the niche in the market for eDrop-Off, there was no going back. My need to start a business met my love for fashion and now here I am with an insanely successful company that still continues to grow.
What is some advice for girls wanting to start their own business?
Do your own thing, no matter what. There’s always room for someone, you just need to hone in on what differentiates you from the rest. Whatever you do, don’t become complacent — this is not going to help your business expand or grow! Also, it’s so easy to get discouraged with everything out in the open on Social Media; everyone seems to be doing something “amazing.” Don’t let it discourage you… My motto: “Competition Keeps You in Condition.”
What are some of the bumps in the road you faced when starting eDrop off? How did you over come them?
I experienced the first bump in the road before eDrop-Off had even launched! After I cultivated the base idea for eDrop-Off, I proposed it to my professor as my graduation portfolio project and was immediately shot down and told it was a bad idea. I disregarded what was said and worked extremely hard to make what I wanted to happen become a reality.
How did House of Consignment come about?
It came to us naturally and organically; I was never looking for a reality show. It was an amazingly fun opportunity, which I took as a learning experience. Before jumping on, I knew it would create some great exposure for my business and my story. We filmed a pilot and then shopped it to different networks; eventually VH1 gave us the green light! Every step was a process, and if it moved forward… it was amazing. If it didn’t, I was so humbled to have been involved in the entire experience.
A few of favorite brands include Isabel Marant, The Row, and of course, Chanel! I’ve always defined my style as “Rocker Chic,” and stayed true to my style, especially now as a Mom. I incorporate a lot of black into my wardrobe along with my go-to staples of graphic tees, denim jeans, and leather pants.
If you could go back in time what would you tell your college self?
Learn to draw the line between your business and your personal life. That took me a long time to learn, that balance, and I continue to learn it. I work all the time, but now if I want to go do something or be somewhere, I’m present. It’s hard to find that balance. It’s so important to have this balance in your life, otherwise your business will over-consume you in a way that you can’t even function.
How did Chicago contribute to your success / growth? Anything special about Chicago?
The women of Chicago have amazing fashion sense and were incredibly supportive of my younger self when I launched eDrop-Off. My clients have been with me for years, and this incredibly loyalty is a true attribute of Chicagoans.